Thursday, 10 December 2015

How not to conduct a debate about Donald Trump

Wednesday felt like a long day. In various ways, it felt like I was having the same conversation over and over again. It was a conversation about freedom of speech and people seems incapable of grasping the simplest point: that people have the right to their opinions and, so long as they fall within the law, nobody has the right to silence them. What's so difficult about that?

Well, I'll tell you what's wrong with that. People is what's wrong with that...


People: Donald Trump is an idiot and needs to be silenced.

Me: Donald Trump is an idiot but he has the right to say what he likes so long as it is within the limits set by the law.

People: But he's an idiot.

Me: Indeed he is.

People: And he shouldn't be allowed to say what he did.

Me: No, he should be allowed to say what he did. It's just that you disagree with what he said which is to your credit because he's clearly an idiot.

People: So why are you trying to censor me?

Me: Sorry?

People: You're trying to censor my right to tell him to shut up.

Me: No, I'm protecting your right to tell him to shut up but also protecting his right to keep talking.

People: This makes me so angry. We need to ban him from the country!

Me: Justin Timberlake makes me very angry. Can we ban him from the country as well?

People: You can't compare the two.

Me: Are you now banning me from comparing the two?

People: You admit that Trump is an idiot and I say he makes me angry so why can't we ban him?

Me: Because he has a right to speak unless he has broken a law.

People: You're clearly a fascist.

Me: I don't know how you reach that conclusion...

People: Because you agree with Donald Trump.

Me: I don't agree with Donald Trump. I think he's an idiot.

People: So why don't you agree to banning him?

Me: Because if we banned people who are idiots, most of us wouldn't get back into the country every time we went on holiday, got horrendously drunk, and woke up wearing somebody else's underwear.

People: Look. I've drawn a Hitler moustache on Donald Trump.

Me: Why?

People: Because he's like Hitler.

Me: You mean he's killed millions of people?

People: No.

Me: Started a war?

People: No.

Me: Implemented a program of genocide?

People: No.

Me: Then why is he like Hitler?

People: Because he wants to ban Muslims from America.

Me: Hitler never banned Muslims from America.

People: But he wants to do something very similar.

Me: Well, there you have a point...

People: I win!

Me: .. but not quite. Trump actually wants to ban terrorists from entering the USA.

People: But he specifically said all Muslims.

Me: No, he said all Muslims until the government can figure the problem out.

People: You're splitting hairs.

Me: I'm trying to accurately describe Trump's stupidity so we don't misrepresent something that is already a very controversial issue.

People: Look, nobody likes what he said. Why would you want to defend him?

Me: Because I don't like bullies of any kind. I don't like bullies who wish to persecute Muslims but I equally don't like bullies who wish to ban everything that they happen to disagree with.

People: Look, I don't have time to debate this now. I suggest you go look at the petition.

Me: I don't want to look at the petition and I never asked to debate this...


A few minutes then pass and then my Twitter following drops by one.


1 comment:

  1. One up to you, I think! Well done.